To Premier McNeil:
The recent decision by CCRSB to ignore the SOC recommendation for a new P-12 school in Pictou defies all sense of reasonability.
Although some would consider this letter to you as flogging a dead horse, I see you as alive and well and quite capable of correcting the board’s misjudgment. There is no doubt that CCRSB has too many buildings for the school population and changes must be made.
You have shown wisdom recently in identifying the need to reinvest in some of the province’s smaller communities. By promoting P-12 schools in these communities, you are giving them the lifeblood needed to attract a younger generation to rural Nova Scotia.
It will be interesting to follow the growth patterns of places such as Oxford, Tatamagouche, Sheet Harbour and Bridgetown and determine if your intuition is correct. I suspect these P-12 schools will be a large part of the fabric needed to maintain and rebuild these rural communities.
I would like to see Pictou get the same consideration. Not only would it show non-partisan support to the community recommendation, it would also remove two old schools and save further investing in an underutilized P3 school.
Between savings from the P3 purchase, financial support offered by the PAEF and the national support to keep a 200 years-old educational institution alive, I can only see a win-win opportunity looking right at you.
The SOC report is worth the read. http://www.ccrsb.ca/sites/default/files/SOC%20Presentation%20-%20January%2024%2C%202017-web.pdf.